ThiNK's New Education Committee and TNKR

Stemming from the critical information gap that the group recognizes on the subject of North Korea, ThiNK’s newly created Education Committee has been working towards their mission: to inform communities about various aspects of North Korea and to be an education resource to the global and North Korean defector communities. This information gap spans both ways from North Koreans to the outside world, and from us, the people living in the States, to the plight of the North Korean people. The government’s objection towards the flow of information is well documented, but most don’t bother to even learn what we do know. For many of us living in the US it is easy to simply summarize the extent of the problems faced by the country’s citizens as “bad” or “very bad”; however, the committee believes this lack of understanding is a driving factor in the apathy this issue has faced.

The Education Committee’s first project was to establish a partnership with the non-profit organization Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR), a group dedicated to tutoring refugees English one on one. With a general plan for the program formed in October, the committee reached out towards volunteers, and held an orientation meeting over winter break. These volunteers filled out resumes and were picked by refugees themselves to help in an upcoming speech competition designed to push the refugees to practice speaking the language. One hour tutoring sessions will be held over Skype and reported back to TNKR and the committee with the goal to expand this partnership with more volunteers subject to a successful pilot program. As TNKR is run solely in English, the opportunity will be open to everyone, painting an exciting possible future for the partnership!

Separate from the ThiNK Board, the Education Committee is made up of four members:

Samuel Lim, the committee’s head, is a senior and political science major in Ezra Stiles from North Dakota. His interest in North Korea began at a young age explaining the difference between the North and the South.

John Park is a sophomore in Puli Murray from the Chicago area. He first became interested in North Korea when he got to know a defector in high school.

Lucas Yang is a first-year and a prospective MB&B major in Ezra Stiles from the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. Researching the politics of North Korea in high school he found himself drawn more to the daily struggles the citizens faced.

Nathan Kim is a first-year in Pauli Murray and a prospective sociology or S&DS major from Northern Philadelphia. He is excited to spread knowledge of North Korea’s many serious issues as part of the education committee.